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IXL Museum features special show Sunday

BILL JAMERSON

HERMANSVILLE — Ironwood based singer/storyteller Bill Jamerson will present an hour-long program of songs and stories about life in the iron mining towns of the Upper Peninsula at 2 p.m. Sunday at the IXL Museum in Hermansville.

The presentation is free and open to the public with donations being accepted. The event is a fundraiser for the museum combined with the museum’s annual Vintage Day, from 12:30 to 4 p.m.

The museum will be open before and after the program for visitors to enjoy. The collection includes some farming implements, a four-story building of unique antiques, displays of equipment used to make the IXL flooring, apartments that were rented out, a house that was built by the IXL, a depot, a caboose, a warehouse and much more. Donations help because we are a non-profit organization not funded by any government entity. The museum is also looking for volunteers to guide visitors around the premises

Jamerson’s music and storytelling presentation is as entertaining as it is important; as honest as it is fun. It’s about people both ordinary and extraordinary, with stories of strength, wit and charm. The Ontonagon Herald called Jamerson “the Upper Peninsula’s troubadour.”

Dressed as an iron miner with guitar in hand, Jamerson performs original songs and tells stories about the early immigrants, their work in the mines, growing up during The Great Depression, ski jumping competitions, the use of saunas, pasties as the food of choice for the miners and stories about ethnic traditions. It’s a program all ages will enjoy.

Some of the original songs Jamerson performs include “The Flying Bietilas,” about six Finnish ski jumping brothers from Ishpeming. “Born to be a Miner” tells the story of a youth growing up in Negaunee during The Great Depression. “Thimbleberry Jam” is about two brothers who visit their grandmother’s boarding house in Republic. “New Americans” describes the different immigrant groups that settled in the iron ranges and “Miners Lunch” tells how children brought pasties to their fathers at the iron mines at lunchtime. The songs range from heart-warming ballads to foot stomping jigs.

For more information about his program, contact the IXL Museum or go to Bill’s website at billjamerson.com.

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